Content tagged with "Reptiles and Amphibians"

Southern Coal Skink

photo of juvenile southern coal skink
Plestiodon anthracinus pluvialis
Few people know about this secretive lizard. It has a wide, coal-black line along its sides. During the breeding season males have an orange head. More

Southern Leopard Frog

Image of a southern leopard frog
Lithobates sphenocephalus
These attractively spotted frogs are excellent jumpers and quickly leap into water when startled. The males’ chuckling calls entertain outdoors enthusiasts even as they function to attract females for breeding. More

Southern Painted Turtle

Southern painted turtle
Chrysemys dorsalis
This small, brightly colored aquatic turtle is one of our state’s two subspecies of painted turtles and is found only in the Bootheel. It may be recognized as a full species in the future. More

Speckled Kingsnake (Speckled King Snake)

Image of a speckled kingsnake
Lampropeltis getula holbrooki
This handsome snake is generally black, but a white or yellow spot in the center of most of the scales causes it to look speckled. The belly is yellowish with some irregular black markings. Like the rest of our kingsnakes, this species vibrates its tail when alarmed. More

Spotted Salamander

Image of a spotted salamander
Ambystoma maculatum
A dancing salamander? Hundreds of them all at once? In the water? That’s how spotted salamanders create their next generation, in only a few springtime evenings each year. More

Spring Peeper

Spring Peeper
Pseudacris crucifer
Their voices a true announcement of spring, these small, slender frogs can be several overall colors, but the X on the back is a good way to ensure your identification. More

Texas Horned Lizard

Phrynosoma cornutum
This is a rare species in Missouri, once living in several southwestern counties. The name comes from the large, specialized scales along the back of their head that look like horns. More

Texas Ratsnake (Black Rat Snake)

Texas ratsnake (black rat snake)
Pantherophis obsoleteus
This glossy “black snake” is one of Missouri’s largest and most familiar snakes. Its size and often deep-black color makes it seem imposing, but it is as harmless to humans as it is bad news for rodents! More

Three-Toed Box Turtle

Three-toed box turtle
Terrapene carolina triunguis
This box turtle usually has three hind toes. Its high-domed shell usually has a top ridge and is olive or brown with faint yellow or orange lines. Look for it in woodland habitats. More

Timber Rattlesnake

Image of a timber rattlesnake
Crotalus horridus
Missouri’s largest venomous snake is dangerously venomous, but there are few cases of rattlesnake bites in our state. It frequents rough country, is mostly nocturnal in summer and few Missourians ever encounter it. More